The Arrival of Fast Internet and Employment in Africa

62 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2017

See all articles by Jonas Hjort

Jonas Hjort

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics

Jonas Poulsen

Harvard University

Date Written: July 2017

Abstract

To show how fast Internet affects employment in Africa, we exploit the gradual arrival of submarine Internet cables on the coast and maps of the terrestrial cable network. Robust difference-in-differences estimates from three datasets covering 12 countries show large positive effects on employment rates—also for less educated worker groups—with little or no job displacement across space. The sample-wide impact is driven by increased employment in higher-skill occupations, but less educated workers’ employment gain less so. Firm level data available for some countries indicate that increased firm entry, productivity, and exporting contribute to higher net job-creation. Average incomes rise.

Suggested Citation

Hjort, Jonas and Poulsen, Jonas, The Arrival of Fast Internet and Employment in Africa (July 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23582, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3003720

Jonas Hjort (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Jonas Poulsen

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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